ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


Childhood Sexual Abuse Raises Heart Disease Risk In Adulthood
Sexual and physical abuse during childhood can have long term effects on both mental and physical health, but it has been unclear exactly why. New research published in the journal Stroke adds to the case, showing that whether or not women had other risk factors for heart problems, a history of childhood sexual abuse remained a strong potential contributor to their atherosclerosis. (Time, 7/17)
 
‘Little League Shoulder’ on the Rise
Experts warn that some children who engage in repetitive overhead ball-throwing -- especially pitching -- can end up paying a price, as insufficient strength paired with poor form turns into the condition commonly known as “Little League shoulder,” which appears to be on the rise.  Shoulder rest was the key treatment in 98 percent of cases.  Physical therapy was also part of the treatment package for 79 percent of patients overall.  (HealthDay News, 7/17)

Alcohol, energy drink mix tied to urge to drink: study
Mixing alcohol and energy drinks increases the urge to drink more than drinking alcohol alone, according to a new study from Australia.  The findings suggest that people who mix alcohol and energy drinks may end up drinking more alcohol than they intended, said the study’s lead author.  (Reuters, 7/17)
 
Many Sexually Active U.S. Teens Not Tested for HIV: CDC
Only one in five sexually active U.S. teens has been tested for HIV, a new government report shows.  That percentage is concerning because teens make up a significant share of new HIV infections, researchers from the CDC said.  The CDC report, which looked at data from 1991 to 2013, is to be presented at the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Australia.  (HealthDay News, 7/18)
 
Poor Parent-Provider Agreement in Advanced Pediatric Cancer
For pediatric patients with advanced cancer, parent-provider concordance is poor regarding prognosis and goals of care, according to a study.  Researchers describe parent-provider concordance for 104 pediatric patients with recurrent or refractory cancer.  “Understanding these differences may inform parent-provider communication and decision making,” the authors write. (Physician’s Briefing, 7/18)
 
Teen Drinking May Lead To An Adult Life Filled With Financial Problems, Poor Health, And Other Challenges
Teenagers who abuse alcohol are more likely to make a rocky transition into early adulthood, Finnish researchers said, after conducting a large study of twins.  After analyzing longitudinal data on more than 3,000 twins, researchers focused on adolescent twins who were “drinking-discordant” — in other words, one drank and the other did not. (Medical Daily, 7/19)
 
School-based screening for eating disorders could improve detection and outcomes
A brief screening survey to identify teens at risk for an eating disorder could lead to earlier diagnosis and help find hard-to-detect cases, which could lower overall treatment costs and improve outcomes, researchers report. The combination of under diagnosis, under treatment and high treatment costs has generated support for school-based screening, which could help identify teens with eating disorders.  (Health Canal, 7/19)
 
Disadvantaged teens’ health may benefit from top schools
Disadvantaged teens may get more than an academic boost by attending top-notch high schools - their health may also benefit, a study suggests.  Risky health behavior including binge-drinking, unsafe sex and use of hard drugs was less common among these kids, compared with peers who went to mostly worse schools. (Fox News, 7/21)

Rates of abdominal obesity leveling off among kids
After rising steadily for more than 10 years, the proportion of U.S. kids defined as obese due to a large waist circumference held steady between 2003 and 2012, according to a new analysis of national data. Using biennial data, researchers found that about 18 percent of kids ages two to 18 were obese based on their waist circumference in 2011 and 2012, very close to the rate in 2003 and 2004. (Reuters, 7/21)
 
Asthma Drug May Help Those With Chronic Hives
A drug already used to treat moderate-to-severe allergic asthma appears to offer relief to people with chronic hives who haven’t been helped by standard medications, new research suggests.  The prescription drug -- omalizumab (Xolair) -- is already available to treat hives.  The current study confirms that when Xolair is taken at a high dose for a six-month period it seems to be both safe and effective at controlling the severe and often debilitating itching that characterizes long-term hives.  (HealthDay News, 7/21)
 
Study Details Risk Factors for Substance Use Disorders After Manic Episode
Adolescents with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop substance use disorders than adolescents without psychiatric disorders. Now, researchers have identified specific risk factors underlying this relationship.  Psychosis at baseline was significantly associated with developing a substance abuse disorder, as were comorbid disruptive behavior disorders and PTSD. (Health Canal, 7/21)
 
Brain training app helps you quit smoking and resist junk food
A new brain-­training NoGo app that helps you quit smoking and resist junk food is under development at UOW and currently being trialed in adolescents and adults.   NoGo uses brain training to help people make healthier food choices.  (Health Canal, 7/21)
 
Naps Helped Students Retain What They Learned Longer Than Those Who Didn’t Get A Chance To Sleep On It
A recent study examining the effects on school children found naps to be beneficial for memory retention. Compared to children who continued their usual lessons after hearing a 15-minute lecture, students who napped retained more of what they’d learned up to five days later. “The results suggest that sleep can be used to enhance the duration of memory contents learned in school,” wrote the authors in their study.  (Medical Daily¸ 7/21)
 
Parents Blind To Childhood Obesity Say Their Kids Are ‘Very Healthy’ A Third Of The Time
“Parents have a hard time changing their child’s dietary and physical activity behaviors,” said Dr. Kyung Rhee, lead author of a recent study into parent-child obesity dynamics.  Researchers asked parents about their willingness to take concrete steps toward improving their children’s health, including listening to pediatricians’ advice to get at least one hour of activity each day and to eat healthy.  (Medical Daily, 7/21)
 
Children with sickle cell anemia at higher risk for sleep apnea, study finds
Children with sickle cell anemia are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than children who are otherwise healthy, according to the findings of a study published in the journal Pediatrics.  The findings underscore the importance for physicians to screen sickle cell patients on a routine basis for sleep apnea, said one of the study’s co-investigators. (The Plain Dealer, 7/21)
 
Cash transfers plus care halve HIV risk behaviours in South African adolescents
Combining unconditional economic support in the form of government cash transfers, school feeding and food gardens, and psychosocial support (positive parenting and teacher social support) reduced incidence of HIV risk behaviour by around half for both female and male adolescents in South Africa, Dr. Lucie Cluver reported.  The full study report is available in a supplement to the journal AIDS. (NAM AIDS Map, 7/22)
 
Peer influence more likely to encourage smoking, say sociologists
Adolescents tend to be more powerful in influencing their friends to start smoking than in helping them to quit, according to sociologists.  In a study of adolescent friendship networks and smoking over time, the researchers found that friends exert influence on their peers to both start and quit smoking, but the influence to start is stronger. (Medical Express, 7/22)
 
Injuries on the Increase in High School Lacrosse, Study Shows
High school lacrosse players are facing an increasing number of injuries during practices as well as games, a new study finds.  Although the most common injuries are sprains and strains, more than 22 percent are concussions, researchers report. They note a better understanding of why these injuries are happening could lead to better ways to protect student athletes.  (HealthDay News, 7/22)
 
Child poverty rates on the rise
Child poverty rates in the U.S. are on the rise, but health and education trends are showing improvements—including teen pregnancy reaching a historic low, according to the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  In its analysis of children’s overall well-being, report found that about 23% of children in 2012 are living in families below the poverty line. (USA Today, 7/22)
 
New research links bad diet to loss of smell
Could stuffing yourself full of high-fat foods cause you to lose your sense of smell?  A new study from neuroscientists says so, and it has researchers taking a closer look at how our diets could impact a whole range of human functions that were not traditionally considered when examining the impact of obesity. (Health Canal, 7/22)
 
One Third of Children Misperceive Their Weight Status
Approximately 30% of children between the ages of 8 and 15 years misperceive their weight status, according to a new analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005 to 2012.  Researchers report that 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls believe they are of normal weight. Nearly 48% of obese boys and 36% of obese girls think that they are about the right weight. (Medscape, 7/23)
 
Many people never grow out of their growing pains
A new research project shows that many adolescents suffer from knee pain for several years, which impacts both sporting activities and quality of life.  Over the years, many adolescents have been forced to accept the diagnosis “growing pains” when they complained about pain in their knees. A new study involving 3,000 adolescents has now shown that the knee pain often carries on.  (Health Canal, 7/23)
 
Survey: Teen Use of Human Growth Hormones Surges
The number of teens using synthetic human growth hormones (hGH) without a prescription have doubled, according to a new survey of high school students.  A survey from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids found that 11% of the 3,705 high schoolers surveyed reported “ever having used” synthetic hGH without a prescription. That’s a jump from the last four years: in 2012 and 2011 the number of teens using hGH was 5%. (Time, 7/23)
 
Study Identifies ‘Quack’ Child Psychology Practices
Child psychology experts throughout the United States contributed to a new study that discredits “quack” treatments and assessments for children and adolescents. Published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, the research polled 139 experts to identify and rate pseudoscientific and potentially harmful practices. (Newswise, 7/23)
 
Young People With Autism More Prone To Obesity
Even at young ages, individuals with autism are far more likely to be obese or overweight than their typically-developing peers, a new study finds.  In a review of medical records, researchers found that more than 23 percent of children with autism and 25 percent of those with Asperger’s syndrome were obese. (Disability Scoop, 7/23)
 
Meta-analysis: only half the people who start PEP complete the course
There are significant losses at each step of the post-exposure prophylaxis ‘treatment cascade’, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of 97 studies presented to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. The problems with uptake, adherence and completion point to a need for a simplified approach, comment the authors. (NAM AIDS Map, 7/23)

 

NATIONAL

 

Feds Clarify Obligations To Kids With Autism
In what advocates are calling a major win, federal officials are for the first time telling states that Medicaid coverage must include treatments like applied behavior analysis for children with autism.  Medicaid programs nationwide must offer “medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services” to kids with autism, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told states in a bulletin this month.  The services must be included in what’s known as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program, a package of offerings that every state is required to provide children under age 21 who qualify for Medicaid. (Disability Scoop, 7/17)
 
High cigarette prices aren’t stopping smokers
A majority of smokers say high taxes on cigarettes are unjust and do little to dissuade them from the habit, according to a new Gallup poll.  State and local governments have been using tax hikes on cigarettes to dissuade smoking, and in some cases to fund public health programs. “Still, other researchers conclude that higher cigarette prices do reduce smoking rates among certain subgroups, such as the young,” adds Gallup.  (The Hill, 7/18)              
 
HIV diagnosis rate falls by a third in U.S.: researchers
The annual rate of diagnosis with HIV fell by a third in the U.S. between 2002 and 2011, researchers reported.  Fewer people in all U.S. groups tested positive for HIV except for gay and bisexual men ages 13 to 24 and over 45, they wrote in a special issue of JAMA.  The U.S. decline followed increased emphasis on care and treatment for people with HIV, including use of antiretroviral therapy, the report said.  (Reuters, 7/19)
 
Illinois legalizes medical marijuana for children with seizures
Illinois children and adults with epilepsy will soon be allowed to use marijuana to ease their symptoms under a law signed on Sunday by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn.  The Illinois law, which takes effect in January, would allow children who experience seizures to be treated with non-smokable forms of cannabis, as long as they have permission from a parent.  (Reuters, 7/20)
 
Democrat wants FDA ban on marketing e-cigs to children
House Democrat Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)  is calling on the FDA to ban e-cigarette flavors and celebrity marketing practices that she says target children.  “Due to the growth in child and adolescent experimentation with these alternative delivery systems, I urge the FDA to move quickly to ban child-friendly flavorings and youth-oriented marketing practices,” DeLauro said.  (The Hill, 7/21)
 
FDA Warns Of Powdered Caffeine’s Potentially Lethal Effects After Accidental Overdose, Death Of Teen Boy
The FDA is considering regulatory action against caffeine in pure powdered form, a teaspoon of which is equivalent to 25 cups of coffee.  Adolescents are particularly drawn to the powerful stimulant, the FDA warned.  Regulators issued the warning after investigating the death in late May of 18-year-old Logan Steiner of LeGrange, Ohio, who had overdosed on powdered caffeine. (Medical Daily, 7/21)

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Childhood Obesity Weighs on WHO
If current trends continue, the WHO warns there will be 70 million obese children globally by 2025.  The WHO reports the number of overweight or obese infants and children has increased from 31 million globally in 1990 to 44 million in 2012. The WHO has established a Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, which will deliver a report to the WHO director general next year. (Voice of America, 7/18)
 
Vietnamese embarrassed to buy condoms, see them as cultural taboo
According to a study published in the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health this year, more than 70 percent of Vietnamese teenagers did not use a condom during their first sexual relationship. The main reason is because they are afraid to buy condoms.  (VietnamNet Bridge, 7/19)
 
AIDS Delegates Mourn Colleagues on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
As the AIDS 2014 conference in Australia opened Sunday, new challenges and key issues were overshadowed by an outpouring of grief over the deaths of six colleagues who were enroute when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.  Speakers urged the roughly 12,000 participants here to use the tragedy to renew their dedication to an ambitious goal: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.  (The Wall Street Journal, 7/20)
 
Will China be Able to Curb Adolescent Suicide?
Suicides among youth have been a significant problem in many countries, but the number and the reasons for those happening in China are even more a cause for concern.  In the last few years, several studies have shown that adolescents and young people in China, Japan and other Asian countries have a large number of psychological problems that may lead them to commit to suicide. (The Globalist, 7/20)
 
Kenya: HIV Message Needs to Target Young People
A recent study in Winam in Western Kenya focused on the social aspect of HIV prevention.  This study found that young people take a pragmatic approach to sexual risks because sexuality plays an important role in their quest for a better future.   (All Africa, 7/21)
 
Adolescent deaths from AIDS rising, especially among boys
While new HIV infections have declined among children, adolescents and adults since 2000, HIV-related deaths have risen sharply among adolescents, especially 15- to 19-year-old males.  Analysis of UNAIDS 2012 HIV and AIDS Spectrum estimates showed a 32% decrease in AIDS-related deaths between 2005 and 2012 among non-adolescents (aged 0-9 and aged 20 and above) compared to a 50% increase among adolescents (aged 10-19).  (NAM AIDS Map, 7/22)
 
U.S. Awards Another $500 Million to Achieve AIDS-Free Generation
More than $500 million in additional U.S. funding will support global HIV and AIDS response efforts with 19 partners.  Three major HIV and AIDS awards, funded by PEPFAR, will support global efforts to help end extreme poverty by creating an AIDS-free generation, USAID announced.  (All Africa, 7/22)
 
Sex education can help curb crime against women, children: Experts
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan may not approve of sex education in schools, but experts gathered under the aegis of the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) felt that sex education could go a long way in reducing crimes against women and children.  At a function organized by the FPAI, experts said the comprehensive sex education could help youngsters resist social pressure and say no to exploitation. (Times of India, 7/23)
 
GSK seeks approval for world’s first malaria vaccine
GlaxoSmithKline said on Thursday it is applying for regulatory approval for the world’s first vaccine against malaria, designed for children in Africa.  The British drugmaker said the shot, called RTS,S, is intended exclusively for use outside the European Union but will be evaluated by the European Medicines Agency in collaboration with WHO.  Scientists at GSK have been working on this vaccine for 30 years. (Reuters, 7/24)


RECENT PUBLICATIONS


New HIV prevention guidelines combine biomedical, behavioral approaches
In an innovative approach to HIV prevention, an interdisciplinary group of experts has come together for the first time to lay out a framework of best practices to optimize the role of the clinician in achieving an AIDS-free generation.  The recommendations integrate both cutting-edge biomedical advances and evidence-based behavioral interventions for the care of people living with HIV or at high risk for HIV infection.  The recommendations are intended as guidelines for clinicians to implement a combined biomedical-behavioral approach to HIV care and prevention. (Health Canal, 7/21)
 
New ACOG opinions address gynecologic concerns in young cancer patients
Cancer treatments in children and adolescents can adversely affect reproductive health and future pregnancy outcomes, so gynecologists should be aware of these effects and be involved in patient care, according to a new committee opinion from ACOG.  The opinion, entitled “Gynecologic Concerns in Children and Adolescents with Cancer,” is one of two released July 22 regarding the preservation of reproductive health among young cancer patients. The other opinion specifically addresses prevention and management of heavy menstrual bleeding that can result from cancer and cancer treatments.  (Oncology Practice, 7/22)
 
Report: Indian mascots hurt Native American children
report from the Center for American Progress calls on state and federal boards of education to enforce civil rights protections for American Indian and Alaska Native students who face hostile education environments related to Indian mascots.  (USA Today, 7/23)


NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE


Implementation Guide 1Engaging Stakeholders to Improve the Quality of Children’s Health Care
The AHRQ has published the first Implementation Guide from the CMS-funded CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant Program, now available on the national evaluation Web site. This Guide is designed to help State officials and other program administrators engage and partner with stakeholders in their own child health care quality improvement initiatives. It provides a five-step approach to engaging stakeholders, breaking down each step into smaller tasks and providing key points and resources to consider throughout the process. (AHRQ, 7/22)



CALL FOR APPLICATIONS


Call for applications: AMCHP Family Scholars Program
Do you have a family leader in your practice? The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs Family Scholars Program represents an opportunity to identify, encourage and train family leaders. Application materials are due by Aug. 7. Contact Michelle Jarvis at mjarvis@amchp.org with questions.



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